SO YOU WANT TO BUY A POLE?
When you are first buying a pole it can be a little confusing! So many options and not knowing which ones are best for you! I learned through trial and error, and after the years found my preferences, as you will too! The information below is to help you educate yourself before you buy.
I have purchased my personal poles from both Platinum Stages and X-Pole over the years. I trust their poles for myself and my students and that is why I am an affiliate with both companies. These companies web-sites have a lot of the common questions answered and are very helpful if you need to call and speak to someone. Please let me know of any information or comments you might have that would be helpful to others in the market!
TYPES OF POLES
Getting a secure safe pole to dance on can come in different packages. Over the years they have come up with more and more options. Depending on your space, height of ceilings, ability to permanently install in your home, price range, and main use, they have the following options.
FRICTION BASED POLES (also called Removable Poles)
Friction Based poles work similar to the tension poles many use in their showers to hang up the shower curtains. They are placed between the floor and the ceiling and tightened.
These can be quickly and easily put up and taken down. You can get them for different ceiling heights, but all have maximum height before you will need to bolt or have installed permanently. This maximum height is usually 12-13 feet.
Pros: More easily put up and broken down than other poles. Spinning and Stationary options available. Minimal space taken up.
Cons: Only goes up to certain ceiling heights. Although advertised not to ruin ceilings or floors, I have personally had marks left as well as paint peeled off of ceilings I have had it on. You also need to have a stud available in the ceiling where you want the pole placed in order to set up.
STAGE POLES (round and square base)
Stage Poles are Poles that are placed on a base that is up off the floor. The stage itself can be square or round depending on company and design.
Stage poles usually have more equipment that make up the stage portion of the pole set up. Since there is a stage that is about 1-2 feet up off the ground the space you set the pole up in will need to have higher or vaulted ceilings.
The stage is above the actual floor, so the stage space around the pole will be the only area you have to dance off of. Floor moves become limited to space and you have the hazard of possibly falling off the stage!
Pros: Nothing is attached, very portable. Great for performance shows in clubs, studios, or larger spaces where you need to be lifted up a little to be seen.
Cons: Only can be set up if height of ceiling is high enough. (My X-Pole Stage Pole will never be able to be set up in my home unless I cut the pole. The stage and pole together go up to 10 feet. My ceilings are a little over 8 feet) Limited dance space around pole before the edge of stage ends. Limits some pole moves. More expensive.
STAND ALONE (Freestanding Portable Poles)
These poles are fairly new to the market and have become popular. Similar to Stage Poles these are set up on a base that usually is only 1-2 inches high. They can be set up anywhere there is space for the base and ceiling is high enough. This is basically a stage pole that is on a very short stage.
Pros: Can set up almost anywhere without damaging floor or needing to attach to ceiling.
Cons: When pole is not set up, equipment can be a lot to store. No as mobile as removable poles. Limited pole height is around 9 feet.
Permanent poles are permanently installed into the space. Usually they are bolted to the floor and have a permanent attachment to the ceiling. These are more stable and can hold more weight if properly installed. Also, ceiling height can be extremely high. Limit on Stationary Permanent Poles can go up to about 24 feet where as Spinning Permanent Poles are usually limited around 14 feet.
Pros: Holds more weight. Works in extremely high ceilings which leaves more pole to work on.
Cons: Can’t be easily taken down and will leave marks when removed on floor and ceiling.
Semi-Permanent Poles are between a Permanent Pole and a Friction or Removable Pole. There is a permanent attachment to the ceiling, floor or both. The pole its self can then be set up by positioning in the ceiling or floor attachment and then tightened. The pole itself is not permanent, however the ceiling or floor attachment will be permanent. (Like a toilet paper holder that has the permanent ends and you can replace the roll of toilet paper by squeezing the inner part)
Pros: Convenient when setting up since you have a spot already set for the pole. When installed properly can be more stable and secure than removable poles. Easily can be taken down and set up.
Cons: One attachment or both is permanently bolted or attached. Limited on Ceiling Height.
POLE FINISHES AND METALS
The material the pole is made out of and how it is finished affects the grip of the pole. Size does too! When comparing different metals, a few things can help you figure out which one will be best for you or what your needing out of your pole. Questions to ask yourself….
• What is my main purpose and activities going to be on the pole?
• (fitness workouts , pole spins, inversions, etc)
• What climate and space will the pole be in? (will it be humid, right next to an AC vent, will I sweat a lot where it is at or will it be kept in a really cold room?)
• How much money do I want to spend? (Some metals are more expensive than others)
• Will I want to compete or have the ability to work comfortably on all poles regardless of metal and size? (Competitions favor a certain metal and some metals strengthen your hands and legs more than others which makes it easier or harder to switch to other metals)
• Do I care if the color of the pole clashes with the rooms décor? (sometimes people care about what the pole will look like and if it will match other metals or decorating in the room)
Below are the most common professional metals. These are polished metals except for the steel powder-coated option which has a grip more similar to Brass and Titanium Gold.
(Sold by Platinum Stages, LilMynx, and just recently X-Pole)
LEAST GRIP 1
Stainless steel has the least grip. It is considered “standard” in the industry. It is the most common and used pole used in competitions. Since it has the least grip, it is the hardest to hold on to. The hands and body will have to work harder and build more muscle to tp grip while performing moves which makes it more difficult then all the other metals. If you train on a Stainless Polished pole it will be easiest to work on any other metal. A person that has only worked on a Brass or Titanium Gold pole will find this pole very slippery and a little harder to grip than what they are use to.
So, basically if you want the best grip strengthening and challenging pole, Stainless Polish metal is the one you want.
(Sold by X-Poles)
LITTLE GRIP 1.5
Chrome is extremely similar to Stainless. It is slightly more porous than stainless, but it will feel similar if not the same to most people. X-Pole does not sell stainless, so if you prefer their poles and want stainless, this is the one you want to purchase from them.
(Sold by Platinum Stages,and just recently X-Pole)
MORE GRIP 3
Brass is more porous than Chrome, but slightly less porous than Titanium Gold. It is polished brass which means that it can and will tarnish if not kept clean or in the right climate. (In my studio in Austin TX, they all tarnish and get gunked up if they don’t get cleaned on a regular. Brasso has been used monthly to keep them shinny!)
(Sold by X-Poles)
MOST GRIP 4
This is considered to be the most porous of the polished metals and to my knowledge does not tarnish like the brass. It is a little darker gold in color than the brass. Again, if you want brass but are ordering from X-Pole, this is your option.
*STEEL POWDER COATED
(Sold by Lil Mynx)
I have never used or been on a lil mynx pole. To my knowledge Lil Mynx are the only professional and reputable business that sells the powder-coated pole. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from other studio owners that do use them. I would love to get one to try out. The cool thing about the powder-coated poles are that they come in different colors! They also are the only ones out of the three companies that sell the Semi-Permanent Pole Option.
OTHER KINDS OF POLES-
(Clear, Glass, Carmen Elektra, Spencer’s, etc.)
There are much cheaper options for pole purchasing. Most of the most known ones I hear people mention are the Carmen Elektra Poles, or I have seen some off brands for around $100 at sex stores or Specer’s Gifts. I do not know personally how safe these are, but I will mention that when your body is placing its weight on a piece of equipment, safety must be number 1!! I recommend purchasing from a reputable company that has a history of selling and specializing the equipment your buying. I have seen all the poles that Platinum Stages, X-Poles, and Lil Mynx makes be improved upon and changed. They care about selling a quality product and are the first three companies you hear when you are in the industry and look for equipment! If you have any knowledge of any other brands, I am more than interested to hear about them, however, unless I or another respected Pole Studio Owner I know has used and research them, I will not stand behind or recommend the company.